AliveCor unveils AI-based solution for physicians tracking afib patients

The Kardia Pro app helps physicians monitor their afib patients who use AliveCor's mobile ECG recorder. (AliveCor)

Since AliveCor launched its smartphone-based electrocardiogram recorder in 2013, it has collected millions of ECGs. Now, the company is rolling out a new platform to help physicians manage the deluge of ECG reports coming from their patients.

The Kardia Mobile attaches to the back of a smartphone or tablet. A patient rests his or her fingers on the device’s electrodes and may also verbally record any other symptoms. The app then analyzes the ECG and tells the patient if their heart rate is normal or if they are undergoing atrial fibrillation. For patients who opt in, the app automatically sends data to their physician.

It hit the over-the-counter market in 2014, a year following its 2013 launch as a prescription device.

The device-and-app combo lets patients take ECGs anywhere and at any time instead of visiting a doctor's office. Kardia Mobile users record ECGs a median of 20 times per month, AliveCor CEO Vic Gundotra said in a previous interview.

While this can help physicians individualize treatment plans and improve outcomes, it can be potentially overwhelming for doctors, said Dave Albert, M.D., AliveCor’s chief medical officer.

The Kardia Pro platform is a cloud-based, artificial intelligence-enabled app that runs on a tablet or computer. It creates a “personal heart profile” for each patient by tracking their weight, activity and blood pressure, in addition to their ECG recordings, Gundotra said in a statement.

“What I find so compelling about Kardia is how it empowers my patient, making them much more proactive in their own healthcare,” Dr. Theodore Takata, M.D., a cardiac electrophysiologist, said in the statement. “Reviewing data this quickly also lets me make important medical decisions, accelerating the time to diagnosis and avoiding unnecessary healthcare utilization.”

The company also raised $30 million in a Series D round, led by its partner, Omron Healthcare, and Mayo Clinic, according to the statement. In a bid to “paint a more complete picture” of patients’ heart health, AliveCor and Omron teamed up in September to integrate data from the latter’s blood pressure monitors into the Kardia Mobile app.

The new funding will support the commercial launch of the new Kardia Pro app as well as drive the development of a “series of new products,” Albert said. He kept mum on the new offerings, saying that an Apple Watch product that had not yet received FDA clearance is currently in clinical validation.